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Herefordshire Zero Carbon and Nature Rich

The county-wide action plan and how you can make a difference

Richard Baker, director from Elgar Care

Elgar Care

Who

This company is a care provider in Herefordshire who have a trained group of specialist support workers to enable and empower people to stay in their own home and live safely and independently. They provide a range of services from companionship to dementia care. The company was set up six years ago but bring many years of experience to the work they do in the county.

Steps taken

They've gone paperless, bought an electric company car for evening and out-of-city visits and four electric bikes to reduce the impact of motoring within Hereford to reach clients.

"The care workers love the bikes and although it's just the start of our journey, once you realise the difference these small things make, you look for more," explains director Richard Baker. "That can be everything from travel options to get to clients, to the products used while you're in the home supporting them – cleaning, laundry and more." But Richard also hopes that as Herefordshire-based companies like his go greener it will fuel the conversation about what the city needs to shape and support efforts. "We're already seeing new cycle routes in the city, conversations about bus routes and fares (and steps taken to reduce them), and a drive for more charging points for electric cars. That's all really positive."

Why they signed up

"Older people and the care sector that supports them are often ignored in debates around climate action," explains Richard Baker. "Especially during the current energy crisis when conversations tend, unsurprisingly, to focus on cost issues and the burden older people put on services – for example the thousands of care workers driving between clients across the UK delivering care 24/7." Elgar Care are setting out to change that, showcasing what can be learned from older people and what companies like theirs can contribute to climate action. "We want to drive a conversation across the sector that will encourage real change," he says.

In their own words

"For us this is not just about what we can do as a company, but what we can learn from the people we support," says Richard. "The older generation have a lot to teach us. Our clients are really mindful of the environment and know the importance – have always known the importance – of reducing waste and saving energy. They want to leave a planet that is safe for their children and grandchildren. We want them to be part of this conversation, too."